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More than 500 school children in Gloucester will learn life-saving resuscitation techniques in October as part of ‘Restart a Heart’ day.

Clinical trainers will be at Barnwood Park, Sir Thomas Rich’s and Ribston Hall schools on Wednesday 16 October to give classes of pupils a 30-minute course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Every student will have their own practice manikins to work on and be taken through an interactive video by resuscitation trainers from Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, with additional help from students from the University of Gloucestershire.

The NHS is hoping to run six sessions at each school, with up to 35 pupils in a class, meaning that up to 630 teenagers could have learned vital life-saving techniques by the end of the event.

Stuart Haile, a Resuscitation Trainer who teaches CPR to clinicians within the NHS, said: “A cardiac arrest is when a person’s heart stops, so blood is not pumped around the body and vital organs don’t get oxygen.

“Anyone who has had a cardiac arrest needs immediate help – calling 999 is a great first step, but the chances of survival double if someone then starts immediate CPR.

“So it’s a brilliant skill to have, and it’s great to be able to pass it on to all these young people so that if they find themselves in an emergency situation they will be equipped to help.”

Restart a Heart Day is a national campaign organised by the British Heart Foundation. Last year an incredible 238,793 people across the UK learnt the basics of CPR thanks to the event.

Scott Albon, deputy headteacher at Barnwood Park, said: “We take the safety and well-being for all of our students as a major priority.  We see the learning of CPR as a vital life skill to aid the well-being of their friends, family and local community and make a real difference to people’s lives.

“We hope it is a knowledge and skill set that they will never have to use, but if the worst was to happen, we would like them to be able to deal with the situation and help save lives. We hope over time that all of our school community will be trained in CPR.”

For more information and resources about Restart a Heart Day, and CPR techniques, visit www.bhf.org.uk

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